Laws and regulations

  • Obama’s sweeping immigration initiative goes into effect next week

    On 15 August 2012 a sweeping new immigration initiative, the most significant easing of immigration policy since President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to an estimated three million people in 1986, goes into effect; it would defer deportation action against, and grant a work permit to, illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria

  • Critics charge Obama initiative is amnesty by executive order

    Critics of the Obama administration’s immigration order charge that the administration is”legislating by executive edict”; they say that the Obama administration is set, in effect, to begin implementing the DREAM Act amnesty on 15 August, even though the legislation was defeated by Congress as recently as December 2010

  • Critics charge DHS chemical plant security program a failure

    In 2006 Congress passed the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program, or CFATS, which set security standards chemical plants had to meet; there are 4,400 chemical plants covered by CFATS, of which 120 are considered especially dangerous, as a chemical release– accidental or as a result of a terrorist act — in any one of them would cause hundreds of thousands of casualties; after four-and-half years and $480 millions spent on CFATS, not a single plant of the 4,400 had been fully inspected; of the 120 riskiest plants, 11 had a preliminary inspection done; not a single site security plan has been approved

  • Under industry pressure, DHS drops chemical plant employee screening proposal

    Security experts agree that short of a nuclear attack on a U.S. city, the most casualty-heavy disaster would occur as a result of an accident in, or a terrorist attack on, a chemical plant which would release a cloud of toxic fumes; there are about 15,000 plants in the United States which produce, process, use, or store volatile and toxic chemicals; more than 300 of the these plants are so close to large population centers, that a chemical release in any one of them would cause more than 50,000 casualties; DHS wanted to have employees in these plants screened for potential ties terrorism, but the chemical industry objected, saying this would be too costly; last Thursday DHS pulled the proposal

  • Measuring DHS effectiveness monitoring chemical plant safety standards

    The events of 9/11 triggered a national re-examination of the security of facilities that use or store hazardous chemicals in quantities which, in the event of a terrorist attack, could put large numbers of Americans at risk of serious injury or death; the GAO issued a report on how DHS ensures compliance with chemical facilities security standards

  • Inmarsat responds: We do not sell telecommunications services to any Iranian entity

    Shurat Hadin, a Tel Aviv-based law firm specializing in litigation against terror sponsors, claims mobile satellite company Inmarsat PLC provides prohibited guidance services to Iranian oil tankers and Iranian military vessels; Inmarsat says these claims are wrong: the company says it seeks to comply with all applicable sanctions laws and regulations, and that Inmarsat does not sell telecommunications services to any Iranian entity, or to any entity on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control list of Specially Designated Nationals

  • Critics charge satellite company Inmarsat violates Iran sanctions

    A legal organizations specializing in fighting legal battles against terror sponsors – they say their goal is to bankrupt the terror groups and grind their activities to a halt, one lawsuit at a time – warned mobile satellite company Inmarsat PLC against providing prohibited guidance services to Iranian oil tankers and Iranian military vessels; in 2008, a United States Supreme Court ruling made the determination that individuals or companies that materially support terrorist organizations are liable for the murder and injuries they cause, according to Boim v. Holy Land Foundation

  • Deportation deferment executive order to cost between $467 million and $585 million

    On 15 June the administration issues an executive order deferring deportation against illegal immigrants who were brought into the United States as kids by their parents, and who now go to school or have graduated from school; illegal aliens eligible to apply can begin to do so in August, and DHS estimates that in the first year of the program, about a million or so would do so; the processing cost would be as high as $585 million; each applicant will be expected to pay $465 in paperwork processing fee, but even if all do, there will be a shortfall

  • Critics: Obama administration advancing amnesty by executive order

    A new study by an anti-illegal group provides a detailed, 3-year timeline of what the groups describes as the Obama administration’s strategy of carrying out a policy of de facto amnesty for millions of illegal aliens through executive policy decisions


  • Federal apprehensions for immigration violations declined, while arrests tripled, in 2000-10

    Apprehensions for immigration violations peaked at 1.8 million in 2000 but dropped to 516,992 in 2010 — the lowest level since 1972, according to a report released last week by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS); between 2000 and 2010, arrests booked by the U.S. Marshals Service for federal immigration offenses tripled, from 25,205 to 82,438 arrests; immigration apprehensions resulted in about 16 arrests per 100 apprehensions in 2010, up from 2 arrests per 100 in 2002

  • ICE agents say Obama’s 15 June executive order makes their job more difficult

    Association of ICE agents complains that the 15 June executive order which deferred deportation action against certain classes of illegal immigrants makes it difficult for ICE to enforce immigration laws

  • Firms with political ties may be bad investment

    It may pay to invest, but, counter intuitively perhaps, it might be worth more to invest in companies that do not have political ties; politically connected firms typically have greater cash holdings than non-connected firms; the reason: managers of such companies need to have more cash on hand to be used as a resource for the firms’ political friends; this hoarding of excess cash runs contrary to the notion of maximizing profit and value for a company’s shareholders

  • Emissions from oil sands-derived fuels too varied for uniform low-carbon standards

    Policy makers need to be cautious in setting new low-carbon standards for greenhouse gas emissions for oil sands-derived fuels as well as fuels from conventional crude oils; researchers found that lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions vary widely across both actual surface mining and in situ oil sands operations and conventional crude cases reported in the scientific literature, depending on individual project operating conditions, technology used, and other factors

  • California passes “Anti-Arizona” immigration measure

    The California State Senate last Thursday passed Assembly Bill 1081 — some call it the Anti-Arizona law —  under which local police officers would be limited to refer only those individuals convicted of serious felonies to immigration agencies; police officers would no longer have authority to detain lower-level offenders on their undocumented status

  • Nuremberg lives: Should Iran’s leaders be charged with incitement to genocide?

    Earlier this week, at a UN forum on the global drug trade, Iran’s vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi delivered a speech which the New York Times described as “baldly anti-Semitic”; Rahmini charged that the Jews, among other things, are responsible for, and are in firm control of, the global drug trade, and that gynecologists are killing black babies on the orders of Jews; law professors Alan Dershowitz and Irwin Cotler argue that the openly anti-Semitic pronouncements by Iran’s leaders, and the repeated threats they make against the Jewish people, merit bringing Iran’s leaders before the International Criminal Court to face charges of incitement to genocide